Making a mess can be an important part of the creative process. For many kids, it seems the messier the art project, the more FUN and memorable the experience becomes! Don’t let the mess stop you from making some amazing memories with your kids.
Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for cleaning up after messy art:
Contain the Mess
Before you begin, lay a plastic tarp or a shower curtain liner down on the floor. Try using baking sheets or trays as a work surface to contain the mess. We have a set of baking sheets from the local dollar store that are used only for art work. Divided trays help to keep supplies organized while you work too. Try saving the messiest projects for outdoors when the weather is cooperating.
Quick Tips for Cleaning Up Glitter
Perhaps one of the messiest art supplies is glitter. A lint brush works well for cleaning up glitter. Alternatively, if the glitter is on a hard smooth surface, you can use play dough to clean it up. Afterwards, you can call it “galaxy dough”. Very cool! Here is a short video of my 11 year old demonstrating how this works.
Where possible, use washable paint and wear an apron or smock to protect clothing. You may want to designate a set of “art clothes” that are old and worn out that can be used for messy projects.
Go for Low-Mess Projects
We are not afraid of mess, but it is nice not to have to clean up after every single project. Here are some low-mess or mess-free alternatives the kids (and you) will love! 10 Simple No-Mess Crafts for Tots, and several other no-mess crafts here.)
Disinfect the Work Surface
I like to use Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to clean up fingerprints and also prevent the spread of germs. These are one of my favorite multi-tasking cleaning wipes to remove germs, bacteria, and kitchen grease! During cold and flu season, I try to keep these on-hand for killing up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria including Staph, E. Coli, Salmonella, and Strep.
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